Dear empath sisters,
A good friend posed an important question in her Facebook group about whether or not we have made space to grieve the losses, the changes, the difference in this holiday season.
The answers ranged all the way from yes, and explanations about how people were making space for their emotions to be honored, to a poignant response about not really knowing how to make space for the grief that accompanies us this season.
Since my work is about helping people to make space for their authentic emotional lives I thought I would offer a couple of thoughts that might be helpful during this holiday season.
Here’s my own response to my friend’s question which was that yes, I did make some space for the grief, the loss, the difference in this holiday season. Usually we have our tree up and decorated and the house decorated for Christmas right on Thanksgiving weekend. This year we bought our live tree the day after Thanksgiving but we didn’t do anything with it for over two weeks. My husband brought the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the garage and they sat in the family Room until we actually felt like doing something with them. We were very aware that things were different and we weren’t willing to just slap some happy sparkly tinsel on it and act like everything was just fine and dandy…business as usual.
When we finally did get around to it the process of trimming the tree, it was much simpler but very warm and happy. The same with the few decorations that we put around the house and the live wreaths that we put on the front doors. And I finally did set up my sweet little village with lights, which brings us a warm and happy feeling every time we pass through our foyer.
There were no shoulds that we imposed. There was no thought of having to do things the way we always did. We were very aware that we were in a different space and yet we were accepting of the difference. I think it’s mostly about being present to ourselves honestly and not trying to turn our inner lives into anything that they are not at the moment. That’s the essence of self-acceptance and self-care. There really is an organic flow to life when we are accepting and make space for it.
Even the cosmic and celestial energies for the next week or so are asking…actually insisting…that we let go of old ways and be open to embracing new ways even before we know what they are.
So I suggest that you to simply watch for places where you may be pushing yourself, where you may be insisting, where you may be letting disappointment and expectations drive you, or even a need to recreate something from the past.
As much as possible let yourself be present for this moment, because we are all changed by this pandemic in ways that we don’t even fully understand yet, but slowing down is definitely one of those ways. And in the slowdown we do get to be more present to ourselves and to our loved ones and to everyone around us really…and everything around us.
So maybe just let love lead the way, love for yourself, love for what is, gratitude for the present moment, and yes, sadness for what’s been lost and what is different… Because in that differentness we feel loss in our hearts. Every change means letting go of something and reaching out to embrace something new. We are in that process right now for many reasons, the pandemic is just one of those reasons. Many loved ones have been lost…and not just this year…and not just from the Covid virus. Lifestyles have changed, incomes have been affected, illnesses have emerged, distance from family and friends is poignantly painful for we humans who thrive on connection. Every change is a loss on a scale from very small to inexpressively monumental.
And frankly the holiday season can bring up so many feelings and memories that are tucked away the rest of the year…and others that are raw and painful all the time and made more so by the expectation of “merry and bright”.
In Western culture we make very little room for grief of any kind. There’s a pervasive “get on with it” kind of mentality that is expected and promoted, and which is unhealthy for humans and other living things.
So take a breath, be kind, be quiet, embrace your heart, accept your tender vulnerable heart, your human heart. Maybe being aware and acknowledging our shared human vulnerability is all we need to do this holiday season.
And thank you Joan Silva for posing the question….
I love you,
Janice Masters, M.Ed., The Shaman Mama
Offering Depth Psychology, Energy Medicine, Spirituality, Quantum Physics, The Art of Miracles.
Supporting the Empath Woman who is ready to HEAL core issues, LOVE her precious self, and CLAIM her natural power and possibilities.
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